Jan 2019 – On a weekend whim, we decided to drive the hour and a half from our area to the ski area in the Black Forest known as Feldberg. We’d heard of the place a few times and were still scouting decent areas to take day trips here and there; so the short drive to Feldberg seemed ideal. The winter was seeing a ton of snowfall across the region so we assumed conditions would be great.
My work buddy, Kevin, wanted to try and learn how to snowboard and he decided the torture of riding cramped in our BMW 325D with our two moody kids for free was worth the opportunity. As we struck out, not even 10 minutes into this insanely early trip, our snowboards conveniently flew off of our rooftop rack and onto the Autobahn, landing deftly in the middle of the road. I didn’t want to risk death, but I’m also not about to let gear get run over…so I ran into the road and snatched them all up. The good news was that I wasn’t killed over cheap snowboards. However, I had already built shitty memories of Feldberg and we weren’t even there, yet.
After a brief repack and adjustment, we continued on and arrived. There’s a pretty large parking facility located only about a 10 minute walk from the western slope side. When you leave, if you keep your lift ticket, the entire day is only 10€ with the 3€ refund (pfand) on your ticket. The infrastructure and restaurants are all at the base below the slopes. Food and great Rothausbier are easy to find; however, during a busy weekend it can be a little difficult to find a table.The resident ski school, Schneesport Thoma, was easy to find for registration. It was also pretty reasonable with a 4-hour (2 in the morning, 2 in the afternoon) lesson for both Karaline and Noah only costing 80€…depending on how much you love time to yourself on the slopes, this price is great.
So you may recall the top image’s caption about Noah illegally enjoying ski school. Welp, unbeknownst to Kate, I totally lied about his age (he was 3) in order to throw them both in school so my wife and I could hit the slopes. To say this backfired is kind of an understatement. Essentially, after it became evident by the instructors, who deal with kids every single day, that his focus level was not that of a 4-year old, the instructor got Noah to say how old he was. The instructor then approached me and totally shamed me,
“It’s not correct from you, Sir. From you, his age is not correct”–Feldberg Instructor making me feel like a total idiot
Essentially, we ended up spending way less time on the slopes because of my heavy sense of shame and the fact that we couldn’t snowboard together, now. Kate decided to hang with Noah when we weren’t eating lunch and I briefly got to enjoy a 39€ lift ticket. However, Kate ended up finding a pretty awesome feature to occupy kids, when not in ski school, that was located at the mountain base.
Kate really saved half the day by finding this place: Fundorena. It’s located just behind the western slope area’s base. If your kids are all of a sudden whiners, can’t deal with the cold, or decide that after spending 40€ on them, your idea of turning them into the next Shaun White or Lindsey Vonn was a stupid idea, take them here. A day pass to the main play area is only 6€ per kid; however, an adult has to stick around for all kids under 8-years old. 😦
All in all, Feldberg was a good experience, albeit filled with father shame. The ski school is relatively cheap (although the starting age allowable is 4), and there is an awesome play alternative to putting your kids in the course. The primary knock I’ve got against Feldberg is that, for the size of the place, I felt it a bit expensive for a single day at 39€. My recommendation is to go if it’s not a long drive. It’s a good way to spend a Saturday. I can’t recommend any lodging since we never stayed overnight. As for Kevin, he said snowboarding sucks then just drank beer the rest of the day.
Click here for the clearer more fortunate date the next year.
Bis zum näschtes mal!-The Snowboard Dad in Europe